Arenas, Judit

Judit Arenas
1 September 2001Feature

More than 120,000 children, some no more than seven or eight years old, are currently fighting in armed conflicts around the world. Judit Arenas reports on the experience of child soldiers and the work being carried out to put an end to this abuse.

The stark images of child soldiers in armed conflicts today are shocking: sometimes under 10, dressed in uniforms too large or sportsgear that belongs in a park, armed with high powered weapons that are often bigger than themselves.

Many of these children are often forcibly recruited at gunpoint, but often it is poverty, propaganda and alienation that drives them into armies, paramilitaries and militias. Many join armed groups because of their own experience of abuse at the hands of…